Tapa is beef, mutton, venison, or horse meat, dried or preserved. However, sometimes other meat or even fish may be used. Filipinos use thin slices of beef for cooking tapa, curing them with salt and spices as a means of preservation.
The tapa is often fried or grilled. It is known as tapsilog when eaten with fried rice and a fried egg. Sometimes it comes as a side dish with atchara (pickled papaya strips), or sliced tomatoes. Vinegar or ketchup are used as condiments.
Traditionally, the beef is cured and then dried or smoked for preservation But the procedure has been simplified in recent years by merely marinating the meat to infuse flavor. Modern techniques have forgotten about the drying process.
About Filipino-Style Beef Tapa
Tapa has been associated with the dish tapsilog. The term tapsilog identifies three main components of the dish: tapa (slices of beef), sinangag (fried garlic rice), and itlog (fried egg).
Usually, tapa is made by marinating the beef in a special sauce or mixture, then by drying it out in the light. This method gives the meat a sweet, savory taste and a slightly chewy feel to it. Many groceries and restaurants come from Pampanga, a province famed for its booming meat industry and the culinary prowess of its people.
When the Chinese merchants came and introduced the natives to condiments such as soy sauce, they soon learned to marinate the meat before drying to give it a deeper taste. Early Filipinos were also most likely exposed to the Chinese wok around this time and, as a result, to the marvel that is fried rice became popular.
Today, more and more restaurants create many variations of tapa. Tapsilog, on the other hand, has become everyone’s favorite go-to meal everywhere in the Philippines. For more international and Filipino dishes, click here.
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